Monday, July 03, 2006

My "National Treasure", thanks to the beauty of bins

Everyone that's been reading my blog for any significant amount of time remembers my severe nesting period that I went through last summer when I hit my second trimester. And when I say severe, I mean it. I decluttered, organized and painted every room in my house except one: the garage.

When I went through each room, I basically collected all photographs I came across in drawers, boxes, etcetera and put them in one big box in my office, and then when I discovered the evil of scrapbooking last fall, I organized the pictures and well, now, here we are.

My garage, on the other hand, has NEVER EVER been organized. We almost got there last summer when we had a garage sale, but then surprise! We accumulated even more stuff and never got rid of the stuff that we sold, plus all of my husband's tools seem to have found a permanent spot on the floor and on the table after the remodeling.

So today was a rare event. We BOTH had the day off from work for the holiday, yet McKenna's school was still open! So we took her over around noon, went to Wal-Mart to arm ourselves accordingly with storage bins and cleaning supplies, came back and got to work. Within a few hours, we had everything out and sorted into piles...trash, things to give away, things to organize, and then binned up various items. I learned last summer that the key to organization is bins...again, anyone who's been reading for a while remembers. You gotta have 'em, and you gotta have 'em on hand when you're organizing. I think my husband realized that I was right today when we used almost every bin that we bought at Wal-Mart. We now have bins stacked neatly in the garage containing baby stuff (swing, bouncer, bathtub, sniff sniff), sporting goods, hunting gear, TWO bins for Christmas decorations, painting supplies, lawn and garden, and...hence the point of my swimming ribbons, medals, and trophies from high school.

Ever since I moved here from North Carolina, I have had my trophies and ribbons and medals in the same boxes that they were in at my parents' house. I never took them out. I just kept moving them from apartment to apartment to apartment to apartment, and then when we bought our house, they went into the garage and stayed there until today when my husband said, "PLEASE do something with these boxes!"

Little did I know what treasure was in there. I opened the box containing my ribbons, and underneath all the ribbons, like a present on Christmas morning, was roughly 150 photographs from my childhood. Photographs that I thought were either lost forever or safe and secure in my mom's house, never for me to see again. (In case you're just joining our program already in progress, Mom and I do not speak, do not get along, she has no interest in getting to know her granddaughter, and she has already told me point-blank that she will not let me have access to her photographs to make copies nor will she make copies for me.)

Tears actually came to my eyes. I really thought these were photographs that I was never going to see again. I didn't have time to go through all of them right then and there, but the one photograph that I've been looking for more than any other, the one photograph that I begged my mom to let me have, was a photograph of my dad and I at a father-daughter dance when I was about twelve wearing a poodle skirt that my mom helped me make. And it was there. Along with countless photographs from school trips, ski trips, Girl Scout camp trips, my Sweet Sixteen birthday party, childhood photographs of my sister and I, swim meets, and many many more that I can't wait to discover.

That, my friends, was the highlight of my weekend. That is my treasure find, my "National Treasure" so to speak, since coincidentally this occurred over Fourth of July weekend. And I never would have thought to look there ever if my husband hadn't made me open the box to put them into a bin.

And MAN, oh, man, you should see our garage. So clean! You can actually walk through it now.


Blogger Sharon said...

Wow, yesterday must have been clean out the garage day because that's what David did too! He spent about 8 hours by himself working out there. And now there are 2, count 'em 2, cars parked in the garage. I'd almost forgotten that's what that space is for! Congratulations on your work! And how exciting to have found those pictures!!!

4:17 AM  
Blogger Shannon L. said...

Well, I never thought a "garage cleaning" post could bring tears to my eyes - but it did ! Congratulations on your organized garage (I'm jealous !), and I am so happy for you that you found those photos ! Especially the one of you and your father and that poodle skirt. Memories are priceless :)

6:54 AM  
Blogger Shalini said...

Awww. That's wonderful. How exciting it must have been.
All my childhood pictures are at my parent's place in Delhi, so whenever I go back I look at them. Have to scan them all and burn CDs next time. I gotta scrap them!

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes.I am very happy for you that you found those "treasures".

1:45 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

What a wonderful treasure!! I know how important old photographs are - I would be lost without all my childhood pictures. I don't look at them regularly, but I know where they are.

4:52 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

That is so awesome, Erica. Isn't it funny that, as children, all we can think of is growing up and having money, only to discover as grown ups what real "treasure" is.

12:42 PM  
Blogger Taneya said...

That is great Erica! Glad you found your pictures and now have more to scrap. FYI - I started digital scrapping just a few days ago. I've got pics on my blog.

5:42 PM  

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